Andhra Pradesh

K-4 missile successfully launched off Vizag coast

The missile developed by DRDO is one among the five K series

India has successfully launched its K-4 SLBM (submarine launched ballistic missile) from an underwater platform, somewhere in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Visakhapatnam, on Sunday.

The missile developed by DRDO is one among the five K series or Kalam series (named after former President APJ Abdul Kalam), and has a range of about 3,500 km. The missile is developed to be launched from INS Arihant, India’s indigenously built nuclear submarine.

As per government sources, an early warning to ships sailing in the direction of the missile was given and no fly zone was declared prior to the firing of the missile.

After take off from an underwater pontoon at an undisclosed location from a depth of about 50 metres, the missile shot over the water surface to travel 3,500 km and drop at the pre-set target in the Indian Ocean.

Said to be about 12 metres in length and weighing around 17 tonne, the missile has the capability to carry a nuclear warhead of about 2 tonnes. It is also said to be intelligent and has the capability to dodge incoming anti-missile articles and K-4s circular error of probability is reported to be very low.

The successful test puts India in the elite club of nuclear triad, which means that the country now has the capability to launch nuclear-tipped ICBMs (inter-continental ballistic missile) or SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missile) from air, surface and underwater platforms.

The K-4 missile system is being developed for India’s nuclear submarine fleet or the Arihant class of nuclear submarines. At present only INS Arihant which is called S2 is operational and the other two INS Arighat or S3 and S4 are under development stage.

According to a senior naval officer, the successful launch of K-4 SLBM gives the country an edge, as only a few countries such as Russia, China and the USA have the triad advantage.

Moreover, SLBMs are stealth weapons and have complex technology, which needs to be developed with two propulsion system: one sub-surface and the other over the surface, he added.

Sources also said that DRDO has developed two underwater missile system for the nuclear submarine fleet, which includes K-4 SLBM and K-15 or B0-5 SLBM, which has a range of 750 to 1,500 km.

INS Arihant or S2 was launched in 2006 and commissioned in 2016. The 6,000-tonne vessel built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project is powered by an 83 megawatts pressurised light-water nuclear reactor. It has four vertical launch tubes, which can carry 12 K-15 or four K-4 missiles.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 8:42:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/k-4-missile-successfully-launched-off-vizag-coast/article30608811.ece

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